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Road Trips
by John M. Roberts

A road trip can be the most enjoyable of experiences as a family unit, whether it's just a husband and wife and/or if they have children. A vacation trip by car can be a fun filled way to form stronger bonds between parents and children and it can also strengthen relationships between siblings.

Road trips are often lampooned in the movies by making them seem to be a bad idea, especially when you are taking young children and teenagers along for the ride. In some instances, movies may accurately portray some real life scenarios that are not so pleasant, but in reality, most siblings get along very well together while traveling by car and actually have fun together.

How well families get along at home is usally a good indication as to how they get along sitting side by side in a car on a long trip. So if you children are fussy at home, all you have to do is use your imigination. The best thing to do is start talking to them days before you start your trip and let them know the rules of behavior.

Traveling by car gives children a chance to view nature in a way that is not possible when flying. They get to see things, mountains, fields, rivers, deserts, forests, and wild animals, that they couldn't experience otherwise. Children remember things that fascinate them and there are a lot of fascinating things to see on a road trip, whether it is across the county, state or across country.

What causes most problems on road trips is the lack of planning. Like anything else, if you don't plan your trip down to the smallest of details, you may encounter some problems that could have been avoided.

When you take a road trip:

  • Buy a road map and calculate the distance between where you're starting from and your final vacation destination. You may also go online and get the directions.
  • Make sure that your car has been serviced, including an oil change, if necessary. Your tires should be checked and are in good condition, including the spare tire. Make sure that your lights and windshield wipers are working properly.
  • Make sure that your automobile insurance is up to date, and although it is not mandatory, roadside service is a good thing to have.
  • If you are driving long distance, your car should be roomy and comfortable. If not, you may want to rent a larger vehicle.
  • Determine who is going to do the the driving. The driving should be shared equally so no one gets overly fatigued.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you can drive at a safe speed.
  • Determine if you will have to stay overnight at hotels along the way.
  • Have plenty of snacks and water in the car.
  • Pencil in food and restroom stops.
  • If you have children, take along something to keep them busy. Toys, games, books, music, etc.

Some people like driving during the day while others like night driving but regardless to what hours you like to drive, if you feel fatigued or sleepy, pull over and get some rest.

When you stop along the way for food, restroom breaks, or to sight see, before pulling back onto the road, make sure that everyone is in the car and buckled up. There has been cases report where a child, and even adults, have been left behind and no one in the car missed them until much later.

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